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POEMS CHOSEN OUT OF THE WORKS
OF SAMUEL TAYLOR COLERIDGE.
POEMS CONTAINED IN THIS BOOK.
Kubla Khan 27
The Rime of the Ancient Mariner 31
A Fragment of a Sexton's Tale 58
The Ballad of the Dark Ladie yy
Youth and Age 81
The Improvisatore 83
Work without Hope 86
The Garden of Boccaccio 87
The Knight's Tomb 91
Alice Du Clos 92,
'] . : '-
CHRISTABEL.PARTTHE FIRST |
^^IS THE MIDDLE OF
THE OWLS HAVE
CROWING COCK J&
u ^TU...WHITL...TU...WHOO! t <@F
3j^AND HARK, AGAIN! THE
\ CROWING COCK J& J& HOW
DROWSILY IT CREW.^^^^
J& SIR LEOLINE, THE BARON
RICH JS- HATH A TOOTHLESS
j^MAKETH ANSWER TO THE
CLOCK j^j^jg^ FOUR FOR THE
QUARTERS, ANDTWELVE FOR
THE HOUR^ EVER AND AYE,
BY SHINE & SHOWER J& SDO
TEEN SHORT HOWLS, NOT O,
VER LOUD J& SOME SAY, SHE
SEES MY LADY'S SHROUD^^t
J& IS THE NIGHT CHILLY AND
DARKPj^THE NIGHT IS CHIL.
LY, BUT NOT DARK J& J& THE
THIN GRAY CLOUD IS SPREAD
Christabel- It covers but not hides the sky*
Part L The moon is behind, and at the full;
And yet she looks both small and dull*
The night is chill, the cloud is grey:
'Tis a month before the month of May,
And the Spring comes slowly up this way*
The lovely lady, Christabel,
WTiom her father loves so well,
"What makes her in the wood so late,
A furlong from the castle gate ?
She had dreams all yesternight
Of her own betrothed knight;
And she in the midnight wood will pray
For the weal of her lover that's far away*
She stole along, she nothing spoke,
The sighs she heaved were soft and low,
And naught was green upon the oak
But moss and rarest misletoe :
She kneels beneath the huge oak tree,
And in silence prayeth she*
The lady sprang up suddenly,
The lovely lady, Christabel !
It moaned as near, as near can be,
But what it is she cannot tell* ***
On the other side it seems to be,
Of the huge, broad^breasted, old oak tree*
The night is chill; the forest bate; Christabel*
Is it the wind that moaneth bleak ? Part L
There is not wind enough in the air
To move away the ringlet curl
From the lovely lady's cheek *♦*
There is not wind enough to twirl
The one red leaf, the last of its clan,
That dances as often as dance it can,
Hanging so light, and hanging so high,
On the topmost twig that looks up at the sky*
Hush, beating heart of Christabel !
Jesu, Maria, shield her well !
She folded her arms beneath her cloak,
And stole to the other side of the oak*
Wliat sees she there ?
There she sees a damsel bright,
Drest in a silken robe of white,
That shadowy in the moonlight shone :
The neck that made that white robe wan,
Her stately neck, and arms were bare;
Her blue' veined feet unsandaFd were,
And wildly glittered here and there
The gems entangled in her hair*
I guess, 'twas frightful there to see
A lady so richly clad as she***
Mary mother, save me now !
(Said Christabel,) And who art thou ?
Christabel. The lady strange made answer meet,
Part I • And her voice was faint and sweet :
Have pity on my sore distress,
I scarce can speak for weariness :
Stretch forth thy hand, and have no fear !
Said Christabel, How earnest thou here?
And the lady, whose voice was faint and sweet,
Did thus pursue her answer meet:
My sire is of a noble line,
And my name is Geraldine :
Five warriors seized me yestermorn,
Me, even me, a maid forlorn :
They choked my cries with force and fright,
And tied me on a palfrey white*
The palfrey was as fleet as wind,
And they rode furiously behind*
They spurred amain, their steeds were white:
And once we crossed the shade of night.
As sure as Heaven shall rescue me,
I have no thought what men they be ;
Nor do I know how long it is
(For I have lain entranced I wis)
Since one, the tallest of the five,
Took me from the palfrey's back,
A weary woman, scarce alive*
Some muttered words his comrades spoke :
He placed me underneath this oak;
He swore they would return with haste ;
Whither they went I cannot tell ♦♦♦
I thought I heard, some minutes past, Christabel-
Sounds as of a castle belL Part I ,
Stretch forth thy hand (thus ended she),
And help a wretched maid to flee*
Then Christabel stretched forth her hand,
And comforted fair Geraldine:
O well, bright dame! may you command
The service of Sir Leoline;
And gladly our stout chivalry
Will he send forth and friends withal
To guide and guard you safe and free
Home to your noble father's hall.
She rose: and forth with steps they passed
That strove to be, and were not, fast.
Her gracious stars the lady blest,
And thus spake on sweet Christabel :
All our household are at rest,
The hall as silent as the cell;
Sir Leoline is weak in health,
And may not well awakened be,
But we will move as if in stealth,
And I beseech your courtesy,
This night, to share your couch with me*
They crossed the moat, and Christabel
Took the key that fitted well;
A little door she opened straight,
All in the middle of the gate;
ChristabeL The gate that was ironed within and without,
Part L Where an army in battle array had marched out.
The lady sank, belike through pain,
And Christabel with might and main
Lifted her up, a weary weight,
Over the threshold of the gate:
Then the lady rose again,
And moved, as she were not in pain*
So free from danger, free from fear,
They crossed the court: right glad they were*
And Christabel devoutly cried
To the lady by her side,
Praise we the Virgin all divine
"Who hath rescued thee from thy distress !
Alas, alas ! said Geraldine,
I cannot speak for weariness*
So free from danger, free from fear,
They crossed the court: right glad they were*
Outside her kennel, the mastiff old
Lay fast asleep, in moonshine cold*
The mastiff old did not awake,
Yet she an angry moan did make!
And what can ail the mastiffbitch ?
Never till now she uttered yell
Beneath the eye of Christabel*
Perhaps it is the owlet's scritch :
For what can ail the mastiffbitch ?
They passed the hall/that echoes still,
Pass as lightly as you will !
The brands were flat, the brands were dying,
Amid their own white ashes lying;
But when the lady passed, there came
A tongue of light, a fit of flame ;
And Christabel saw the lady's eye,
And nothing else saw she thereby,
Save the boss of the shield of Sir Leoline tall,
Which hung in a murky old niche in the walL
O softly tread, said Christabel,
My father seldom sleepeth welL
Sweet Christabel her feet doth bare,
And jealous of the listening air
They steal their way from stair to stair,
Now in glimmer, and now in gloom,
And now they pass the Baron's room,
As still as death, with stifled breath I
And now have reached her chamber door;
And now doth Geraldine press down
The rushes of the chamber floor*
The moon shines dim in the open air,
And not a moonbeam enters here*
But they without its light can see
The chamber carved so curiously,
Carved with figures strange and sweet,
All made out of the carver's brain,
For a lady's chamber meet:
Christabel* The lamp with twofold silver chain
Part L Is fastened to an angel's feet*
The silver lamp burns dead and dim;
But Christabel the lamp will trim*
She trimmed the lamp* and made it bright,
And left it swinging to and fro,
While Geraldine, in wretched plight,
Sank down upon the floor below*
weary lady, Geraldine,
1 pray you, drink this cordial wine !
It is a wine of virtuous powers;
My mother made it of wild flowers*
And will your mother pity me,
Who am a maiden most forlorn ?
Christabel answered: Woe is me I
She died the hour that I was born*
I have heard the grey^haired friar tell
How on her deatlvbed she did say,
That she should hear the castle^bell
Strike twelve upon my wedding/day*
mother dear ! that thou wert here !
1 would, said Geraldine, she were !
But soon with altered voice, said she :
44 Off, wandering mother ! Peak and pine !
I have power to bid thee flee/'
Alas ! what ails poor Geraldine?
Why stares she with unsettled eye ? Christabel.
Can she the bodiless dead espy ? Part I •
And why with hollow voice cries she i
44 Off, woman^ off I this hour is mine ♦♦♦
Though thou her guardian spirit be,
Off, woman, off! 'tis given to me/'
Then Christabel knelt by the lady's side,
And raised to heaven her eyes so blue :
Alas ! said she, this ghastly ride ♦♦♦ •
Dear lady ! it hath wildered you !
The lady wiped her moist cold brow,
And faintly said, " 'Tis over now ! "
Again the wild^flower wine she drank:
Her fair large eyes 'gan glitter bright,
And from the floor whereon she sank,
The lofty lady stood upright:
She was most beautiful to see,
Like a lady of a far countree*
And thus the lofty lady spake :
44 All they who live in the upper sky,
Do love you, holy Christabel!
And you love them, and for their sake
And for the good which me befel,
Even I in my degree will try,
Fair maiden, to requite you welL
But now unrobe yourself; for I
Must pray, ere yet in bed I lie/'
Christabel. Quoth Christabel, So let it be !
Part I , And as the lady bade, did she.
Her gentle limbs did she undress,
And lay down in her loveliness*
But through her brain of weal and woe
So many thoughts moved to and fro,
That vain it were her lids to close;
So half-way from the bed she rose,
And on her elbow did recline
To look at the lady Geraldine*
Beneath the lamp the lady bowed,
And slowly rolled her eyes around;
Then drawing in her breath aloud,
Like one that shuddered, she unbound
The cincture from beneath her breast:
Her silken robe, and inner vest,
Dropt to her feet, and full in view,
Behold! her bosom and half her side***
A sight to dream of, not to tell I
O shield her 1 shield sweet Christabel!
Yet Geraldine nor speaks nor stirs;
Ah ! what a stricken look was hers !
Deep from within she seems half-way
To lift some weight with sick assay,
And eyes the maid and seeks delay;
Then suddenly, as one defied,
Collects herself in scorn and pride,
And lay down by the Maiden's side ! Christabel .
And in her arms the maid she took, Part L
And with low voice and doleful look
These words did say:
44 In the touch of this bosom there worketh a spell,
Which is lord of thy utterance, Christabel !
Thou knowest to-night, and wilt know to-morrow,
This mark of my shame, this seal of my sorrow;
But vainly thou warrest,
For this is alone in
Thy power to declare,
That in the dim forest
Thou heard' st a low moaning,
And found'st a bright lady, surpassingly fair;
And didst bring her home with thee in love and
To shield her and shelter her from the damp air/'
THE CONCLUSION TO PART THE
T was a lovely sight to see
\ The lady Christabel, when she
Was praying at the old oak tree*
Amid the jagged shadows
Of mossy leafless boughs,
Kneeling in the moonlight,
To make her gentle vows;
Her slender palms together prest,
Heaving sometimes on her breast;
Christabel. Her face resigned to bliss or bale***
Part I . H er face, oh call it fair not pale,
And both blue eyes more bright than clear,
Each about to have a tear*
With open eyes (ah woe is me!)
Asleep, and dreaming fearfully,
Fearfully dreaming, yet, I wis,
Dreaming that alone, which is ♦♦♦
O sorrow and shame ! Can this be she,
The lady, who knelt at the old oak tree ?
And lo! the worker of these harms,
That holds the maiden in her arms,
Seems to slumber still and mild,
As a mother with her child*
A star hath set, a star hath risen,
O Geraldine ! since arms of thine
Have been the lovely lady's prison*
O Geraldine ! one hour was thine ♦♦♦
Thou'st had thy will ! By tairn and rill,
The night-birds all that hour were still*
But now they are jubilant anew,
From clifFand tower, tu/whoo ! tu-whoo !
Tu-whoo ! tu-whoo ! from wood and fell !
And see! the lady Christabel
Gathers herself from out her trance;
Her limbs relax, her countenance
Grows sad and soft; the smooth thin lids
Close o'er her eyes ; and tears she sheds ♦♦♦ ChristabeL
Large tears that leave the lashes bright ! Part L
And oft the while she seems to smile
As infants at a sudden light!
Yea, she doth smile, and she doth weep.
Like a youthful hermitess,
Beauteous in a wilderness,
Who, praying always, prays in sleep.
And, if she move unquietly,
Perchance/tis but the blood so free
Comes back and tingles in her feet*
No doubt, she hath a vision sweet*
"What if her guardian spirit 'twere,
Wliat if she knew her mother near ?
But this she knows, in joys and woes,
That saints will aid if men will call:
For the blue sky bends over all !
Christabel. PARTTHE SECOND.
V Q^^^A^Sss^^S^^t^ ACH matin bell, the
Knells us back to a
world of death*
These words Sir Leo'
line first said,
Wlien he rose & found
his lady dead:
These words Sir Leo-"
line will say
Many a morn to his dying day!
And hence the custom and law began
That still at dawn the sacristan,
Who duly pulls the heavy bell,
Five and forty beads must tell
Between each stroke ♦♦♦ a warning knell,
Which not a soul can choose but hear
From Bratha Head to Wyndermere*
Saith Bracy the bard, So let it knell I
And let the drowsy sacristan
Still count as slowly as he can !
There is no lack of such, I ween,
As well fill up the space between*
In Langdale Pike and Witch's Lair,
And Dungeon^ghyll so foully rent,
With ropes of rock and bells of air
Three sinful sextons' ghosts are pent,
Who all give back, one after t'other, Christabel.
The deatlvnote to their living brother ; Part 1 1 .
And oft too, by the knell offended,
Just as their one ! two I three ! is ended,
The devil mocks the doleful tale
Wrth a merry peal from Borrowdale*
The air is still ! through mist and cloud
That merry peal comes ringing loud;
And Geraldine shakes off her dread,
And rises lightly from the bed;
Puts on her silken vestments white,
And tricks her hair in lovely plight,
And nothing doubting of her spell
Awakens the lady ChristabeL
44 Sleep you, sweet lady Christabel ?
I trust that you have rested well/'
And Christabel awoke and spied
The same who lay down by her side***
O rather say, the same whom she
Raised up beneath the old oak tree !
Nay, fairer yet I and yet more fair !
For she belike hath drunken deep
Of all the blessedness of sleep !
And while she spake, her looks, her air,
Such gentle thankfulness declare,
That (so it seemed) her girded vests
Grew tight beneath her heaving breasts*
"Sure I have sinn'd!" said Christabel,
ChristabeL " Now heaven be praised if all be well ! "
Part IL And in low faltering tones, yet sweet,
Did she the lofty lady greet
Wrth such perplexity of mind
As dreams too lively leave behind*
So quickly she rose, and quickly arrayed
Her maiden limbs, and having prayed
That He, who on the cross did groan,
Might wash away her sins unknown,
She forthwith led fair Geraldine
To meet her sire, Sir Leoline*
The lovely maid and the lady tall
Are pacing both into the hall,
And pacing on through page and groom,
Enter the Baron's presence^room*
The Baron rose, and while he prest
His gentle daughter to his breast,
^X^ith cheerful wonder in his eyes
The lady Geraldine espies,
And gave such welcome to the same,
As might beseem so bright a dame I
But when he heard the lady's tale,
And when she told her father's name,
Why waxed Sir Leoline so pale,
Murmuring o'er the name again,
Lord Roland de Vaux of Tryermaine ?
Alas ! they had been friends in youth ; ChristabeL
But whispering tongues can poison truth ; Part 1 1 •
And constancy lives in realms above;
And life is thorny; and youth is vain ;
And to be wroth with one we love
Doth work like madness in the brain*
And thus it chanced, as I divine,
With Roland and Sir Leoline*
Each spake words of high disdain
And insult to his heart's best brother :
They parted*** ne'er to meet again !
But never either found another
To free the hollow heart from paining***
They stood aloof* the scars remaining*
Like cliffs which had been rent asunder;
A dreary sea now flows between*
But neither heat, nor frost, nor thunder,
Shall wholly do away, I ween,
The marks of that which once hath been*
Sir Leoline, a moment's space,
Stood gazing on the damsel's face :
And the youthful Lord of Tryermaine
Came back upon his heart again*
O then the Baron forgot his age,
His noble heart swelled high with rage ;
He swore by the wounds in Jesu'sside
He would proclaim it far and wide,
With trump and solemn heraldry,
Christabel. That they, who thus had wronged the dame
Part 1 1 ♦ Were base as spotted infamy !
" And if they dare deny the same,
My herald shall appoint a week,
And let the recreant traitors seek
My tourney court^.that there and then
I may dislodge their reptile souls
From the bodies and forms of men!"
He spake : his eye in lightning rolls !
For the lady was ruthlessly seized; & he kenned
In the beautiful lady the child of his friend !
And now the tears were on his face,
And fondly in his arms he took
Fair Geraldine, who met the embrace,
Prolonging it with joyous look*
Which when she viewed, a vision fell
Upon the soul of Christabel,
The vision of fear, the touch and pain !
She shrunk and shuddered, and saw again ♦•♦
(Ah, woe is me ! Was it for thee,
Thou gentle maid ! such sights to see ?)
Again she saw that bosom old,
Again she felt that bosom cold,
And drew in her breath with a hissing sound ;
Whereat the Knight turned wildly round,
And nothing saw, but his own sweet maid
With eyes upraised, as one that prayed*
The touch, the sight, had passed away, ChristabeL
And in its stead that vision blest, Part 1 1 .
Which comforted her after^rest,
Wliile in the lady's arms she lay,
Had put a rapture in her breast,
And on her lips and o'er her eyes
Spread smiles like light!
With new surprise,
"What ails then my beloved child?"
The Baron said*** His daughter mild
Made answer, " All will yet be well I "
I ween, she had no power to tell
Aught else : so mighty was the spell*
Yet he, who saw this Geraldine,
Had deemed her sure a thing divine*
Such sorrow with such grace she blended,
As if she feared she had offended
Sweet Christabel,that gentle maid!
And with such lowly tones she prayed
She might be sent without delay
Home to her father's mansion ♦
Nay, by my soul!" said Leoline*
" Ho ! Bracy the bard, the charge be thine !
Go thou with music sweet and loud,
And take two steeds with trappings proud,
And take the youth whom thou lov'st best
To bear thy harp, and learn thy song,
ChristabeL And clothe you both in solemn vest,
Part 1 1 1 And over the mountains haste along,
Lest wandering folk, that are abroad,
Detain you on the valley road*
" And when he has crossed the Irthing flood,
My merry bard ! he hastes, he hastes
Up Knorren Moor, through Halegarth Wood,
And reaches soon that castle good
Which stands and threatens Scotland's wastes*
" Bard Bracy ! bard Bracy ! your horses are fleet,
Ye must ride up the hall, your music so sweet,
More loud than your horses' echoing feet !
And loud and loud to Lord Roland call,
Thy daughter is safe in Langdale hall I
Thy beautiful daughter is safe and free,
Sir Leoline greets thee thus through me*
He bids thee come without delay
With all thy numerous array;
And take thy lovely daughter home :
And he will meet thee on the way
Wrth all his numerous array
White with their panting palfreys' foam :
And, by mine honour ! I will say,
That I repent me of the day
When I spake words of fierce disdain
To Roland de Vaux of Tryermaine! „.
For since that evil hour hath flown,
Many a summer's sun hath shone ; ChristabeL
Yet ne'er found I a friend again Part 1 1 ♦
Like Roland de Vaux of Tryermaine/'
The lady fell, and clasped his knees,
Her face upraised, her eyes overflowing;
And Bracy replied, with faltering voice,
His gracious hail on all bestowing;
44 Thy words, thou sire of Christabel,
Are sweeter than my harp can tell;
Yet might I gain a boon of thee,
This day my journey should not be,
So strange a dream hath come to me;
That I had vowed with music loud
To clear yon wood from thing unblest,
Warn'd by a vision in my rest !
For in my sleep I saw that dove,
That gentle bird, whom thou dost love,
And call'st by thy own daughter's name ♦.♦
Sir Leoline! I saw the same,
Fluttering, and uttering fearful moan,
Among the green herbs in the forest alone*
Which when I saw and when I heard,
I wonder' d what might ail the bird;
For nothing near it could I see,
Save the grass and green herbs underneath the
44 And in my dream, methought, I went
Christabeh To search out what might there be found ;
Part 1 1 ♦ And what the sweet bird's trouble meant,
That thus lay fluttering on the ground*
I went and peered, and could descry
No cause for her distressful cry;
But yet for her dear lady's sake
I stooped, methought, the dove to take,
"When lo ! I saw a bright green snake
Coiled around its wings and neck*
Green as the herbs on which it couched,
Close by the dove's its head it crouched;
And with the dove it heaves and stirs,
Swelling its neck as she swelled hers I
I woke; it was the midnight hour,
The clock was echoing in the tower;
But though my slumber was gone by,
This dream it would not pass away ♦♦♦
It seems to live upon my eye !
And thence I vowed this selfsame day
With music strong and saintly song
To wander through the forest bare,
Lest aught unholy loiter there/'
Thus Bracy said: the Baron, the while,
Half^listening heard him with a smile;
Then turned to Lady Geraldine,
His eyes made up of wonder and love;
And said in courtly accents fine,
44 Sweet maid, Lord Roland's beauteous dove,
With arms more strong than harp or song, ChnstabeL
Thy sire and I will crush the snake ! " ± art * I •
He kissed her forehead as he spake,
And Geraldine in maiden wise
Casting down her large bright eyes,
With blushing cheek and courtesy fine
She turned her from Sir Leoline;
Softly gathering up her train,
That o er her right arm fell again ;
And folded her arms across her chest,
And couched her head upon her breast,
And looked askance at Christabel
Jesu, Maria, shield her well 1
A snake' s small eye blinks dull and shy,
And the lady's eyes they shrunk in her head,
Each shrunk up to a serpent's eye,
And with somewhat of malice, & more of dread,
At Christabel she look'd askance I
One moment ♦♦♦ and the sight was fled !
But Christabel in dizzy trance
Stumbling on the unsteady ground
Shuddered aloud, with a hissing sound;
And Geraldine again turned round,
And like a thing, that sought relief,
Full of wonder and full of grief,
She rolled her large bright eyes divine
Wildly on Sir Leoline*
ChristabeL The maid, alas ! her thoughts are gone,
Part IL She nothing sees ♦♦♦no sight but one!
The maid, devoid of guile and sin,
I know not how, in fearful wise,
So deeply had she drunken in
That look, those shrunken serpent eyes,
That all her features were resigned
To this sole image in her mind :
And passively did imitate
That look of dull and treacherous hate !
And thus she stood, in dizzy trance,
Still picturing that look askance
"With forced unconscious sympathy
Full before her father's view ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦
As far as such a look could be
In eyes so innocent and blue!
And when the trance was o'er, the maid
Paused awhile, and inly prayed:
Then falling at the Baron's feet,
" By my mother's soul do I entreat
That thou this woman send away ! "
She said: and more she could not say:
For what she knew she could not tell,
0'er/<mastered by the mighty spelh
Why is thy cheek so wan and wild,
Sir Leoline! Thy only child
Lies at thy feet, thy joy, thy pride,
— .. . ..._
So fair, so innocent, so mild; ChristabeL
The same, for whom thy lady died ! Part I L
0,by the pangs of her dear mother
Think thou no evil of thy child !
For her, and thee, and for no other,
She prayed the moment ere she died:
Prayed that the babe for whom she died,
Might prove her dear lord's joy and pride !
That prayer her deadly pangs beguiled,
And wouldst thou wrong thy only child,
Her child and thine ?
Within the Baron's heart and brain
If thoughts, like these, had any share,
They only swelled his rage and pain,
And did but work confusion there*
His heart was cleft with pain and rage,
His cheeks they quivered, his eyes were wild,
Dishonoured thus in his old age;
Dishonoured by his only child,
And all his hospitality
To the insulted daughter of his friend
By more than woman's jealousy
Brought thus to a disgraceful end,.*
He rolled his eye with stern regard
Upon the gentle minstrel bard,
And said in tones abrupt, austere :
44 Why, Bracy ! dost thou loiter here ?
ChristabeL I bade thee hence ! " The bard obeyed ;
Part IL And turning from his own sweet maid,
The aged knight, Sir Leoline,
Led forth the lady Geraldine !
THE CONCLUSION TO PART THE
LITTLE child, a limber elf,
Singing, dancing to itself,
A fairy thing with red round
That always finds, & never seeks,
Makes such a vision to the sight
As fills a father's eyes with light;
And pleasures flow in so thick and fast
Upon his heart, that he at last
Must need express his love's excess
With words of unmeant bitterness*
Perhaps 'tis pretty to force together
Thoughts so all unlike each other;
To mutter and mock a broken charm,
To dally with wrong that does no harm*
Perhaps 'tis tender too and pretty
At each wild word to feel within
A sweet recoil of love and pity*
And what, if in a world of sin
(O sorrow and shame should this be true !)
Such giddiness of heart and brain
Comes seldom save from rage and pain,
So talks as it's most used to do*
|N Xanadu did Kubla
A stately pleasure^dome
Where Alph,the sacred
Through caverns mea^
sureless to man
Down to a sunless sea*
So twice five miles of
"With walls and towers were girdled round :
And here were gardens bright with sinuous rills,
Wliere blossomed many an incense^bearing tree;
And here were forests ancient as the hills,
Enfolding sunny spots of greenery*
But oh ! that deep romantic chasm which slanted
Down the green hill athwart a cedarn cover I
A savage place ! as holy and enchanted
As c f er beneath a waning moon was haunted
By woman wailing for her demon^lover !
And from this chasm, with ceaseless turmoil
As if this earth in fast thick pants were breathing,
Amid whose swift half"intermitted burst
Huge fragments vaulted like rebounding hail,
Or chaffy grain beneath the thresher's flail:
Kubla And 'mid these dancing rocks at once and ever
Khan It flung up momently the sacred riven
Five miles meandering with a mazy motion
Through wood and dale the sacred river ran,
Then reached the caverns measureless to man,
And sank in tumult to a lifeless ocean :
And 'mid this tumult Kubla heard from far
Ancestral voices prophesying war !
The shadow of the dome of pleasure
Floated midway on the waves;
Where was heard the mingled measure
From the fountain and the caves*
It was a miracle of rare device,
A sunny pleasure^dome with caves of ice !
A damsel with a dulcimer
In a vision once I saw:
It was an Abyssinian maid,
And on her dulcimer she played,
Singing of Mount Abora* .
Could I revive within me
Her symphony and song,
To such a deep delight 'twould win me,
That with music loud and long,
I would build that dome in air,
That sunny dome ! those caves of ice !
And all who heard should see them there,
And all should cry, Beware ! Beware !
His flashing eyes, his floating hair!
Weave a circle round him thrice,
And close your eyes with holy dread,
For he on honey/dew hath fed,
And drunk the milk of Paradise*
, « U- ■■ - .J—-. ■ I*
jfTHE RIME OF THE ANCIENT
MARINER. IN SEVEN PARTS.
J$ Facile credo, plures esse Naturas invisibles
quam visibiles in rerum universitate* Sed horum
omnium familiamquis nobis enarrabit? etgradus
et cognationes et discrimina et singulorum mu/
nera? Quid agunt? qux loca habitant? Harum
rerum notitiam semper ambivit ingenium hu^
manum, nunquam attigit* j$??Juvat,interea,non
diffiteor, quandoque in animo, tanquam in tabula,
majoris et melioris mundi imaginem contempla^
ri: ne mens assuefacta hodiernse vitas minutiis se
contrahat nimis, ettota subsidat in pusillas cogi^
tationes* Sed veritati interea invigilandum est,
modusque servandus, ut certa ab incertis, diem a
nocte, distinguamus* ♦♦♦T* Burnet, ArchaeoL Phih
Argument: How a Ship having passed the Line
was driven by storms to the cold Country to^
wards the South Pole; and how from thence she
made her course to the tropical Latitude of the
Great Pacific Ocean; & of the strange things that
befell; & in what manner the Ancyent Marinere
came back to his own Country*
ISUii-iJ^ — -r
An ancient Manner meeteth three Gallants bid'
den to a weddings feast, and detaineth one*
T is an ancient Mariner,
And he stoppeth one of
" By thy long grey beard
and glittering eye,
Now wherefore stopp'st
thou me ?
The Bridegroom's doors
are opened wide,
And I am next of kin;
The guests are met, the feast is set;
May' st hear the merry din/'
He holds him with his skinny hand,
"There was a ship/' quoth he*
" Hold off! unhand me, grey /'beard loon If!
Eftsoons his hand dropt he*
The WeddingxGuest is spellbound by the eye
of the old seafaring man, and constrained to hear
He holds him with his glittering eye ♦♦♦
The Wedding'Guest stood still,
■•-' ■ ■- '
tells how the
with a good
wind and fair
it reached the
bridal music ;
but the Ma.
ueth his tale.
And listens like a three years' child :
The Mariner hath his will*
The Wedding.Guest sat on a stone:
He cannot choose but hear;
And thus spake on that ancient man,
The bright-eyed Mariner*
"The ship was cheered, the harbour cleared,
Merrily did we drop
Below the kirk, below the hill,
Below the lighthouse top*
The sun came up upon the left,
Out of the sea came he !
And he shone bright, and on the right
Went down into the sea*
Higher and higher every day,
Till over the mast at noon ♦♦♦
The Wedding.Guest here beat his breast,
For he heard the loud bassoon.
The bride hath paced into the hall,
Red as a rose is she;
Nodding their heads before her goes
The merry minstrelsy*
The Wedding.Guest he beat his breast,
Yet he cannot choose but hear;
And thus spake on that ancient man,
The bright.eyed Mariner*
H And now the Storm^blast came, and he
Was tyrannous and strong:
He struck with his overtaking wings,
And chased us south along*
With sloping masts and dipping prow,
As who pursued with yell and blow
Still treads the shadow of his foe,
And forward bends his head,
The ship drove fast, loud roared the blast,
And southward aye we fled*
And now there came both mist and snow,
And it grew wondrous cold :
And ice, mast^high, came floating by,
As green as emerald*
And through the drifts the snowy clifts
Did send a dismal sheen :
Nor shapes of men nor beasts we ken ***
The ice was all between*
driven by a
the south pole*
The land of
ice, & of fear'
where no liw
ing thing was
to be seen*
The ice was here, the ice was there,
The ice was all around:
It cracked and growled, and roared and howled,
Like noises in a swound !
Till a great
ed the Alba^
tross, came through the snow^fog,and was received with great
joy and hospitality*
At length did cross an Albatross,
Thorough the fog it came ;
1 '■ ■
As if it had been a Christian soul,
We hailed it in God's name*
It ate the food it ne'er had eat,
And round and round it flew*
The ice did split with a thunder^ fit ;
The helmsman steered us through I
And lo I the And a good south wind sprung up behind ;
Albatross The Albatross did follow,
provethabird And every day, for food or play,
ofgoodomen, Came to the mariners' hollo !
the ship as it In mist or cloud, on mast or shroud,
returned It perched for vespers nine ;
northward Whiles all the night, through fog^smoke white,
through fog Glimmered the white moon^shine/'
& floating ice*
The ancient " God save thee, ancient Mariner I
Mariner From the fiends, that plague thee thus ! ♦♦♦
inhospitably Why look'st thou so ? ♦♦♦ With my cross-bow
killeth the . I shot the Albatross*
pious bird of
HE Sun now rose upon the right:
Out of the sea came he,
Still hid in mist, and on the left
Went down into the sea*
And the good south wind still
But no sweet bird did follow,
Nor any day for food or play
Came to the mariners' hollo !
And I had done a hellish thing,
And it would work 'em woe :
For all averred, I had killed the bird
That made the breeze to blow*
Ah wretch ! said they, the bird to slay,
That made the breeze to blow!
Nor dim nor red, like God's own head,
The glorious Sun uprist:
Then all averred, I had killed the bird
That brought the fog and mist.
'Twas right, said they, such birds to slay,
That bring the fog and mist*
cry out against
riner, for killing
the bird of good
But when the fog
cleared off, they
thus make them'
plices in the crime.
The fair breeze blew, the white foam flew, The fair breeze
The furrow followed free ; continues ; the
ship enters the Pacific Ocean, and sails northward, even
till it reaches the Line*
We were the first that ever burst
Into that silent sea*
The ship Down dropt the breeze, the sails dropt down,
hath been 'Twas sad as sad could be;
suddenly And we did speak only to break
becalmed- The silence of the sea !
All in a hot and copper sky,
The bloody Sun, at noon,
Right up above the mast did stand,
No bigger than the Moon*
Day after day, day after day,
We stuck, nor breath nor motion ;
As idle as a painted ship
Upon a painted ocean*
And the Water, water, every where,
Albatross And all the boards did shrink ;
begins to Witer, water, every where,
be avenged* Nor any drop to drink*
The very deep did rot: O Christ!
That ever this should be !
Yea, slimy things did crawl with legs
Upon the slimy sea*
About, about, in reel and rout
The death'fires danced at night;
The water, like a witch's oils,
Burnt green, and blue and white*
A Spirit had followed them ; one of the invisible inhabitants
of this planet, neither departed souls nor angels; concerning
whom the learned Jew, Josephus, and the Platonic Constant
tinopolitan, Michael Psellus, may be consulted J0 They are
And some in dreams assured were ver ^ J iume/ '
is no climate
Of the Spirit that plagued us so
Nine fathom deep he had followed us
From the land of mist and snow*
And every tongue, through utter drought,
Was withered at the root;
We could not speak, no more than if
We had been choked with soot*
Ah ! welka^day ! what evil looks The ship'
Had I from old and young ! mates, in
Instead of the cross, the Albatross their sore
About my neck was hung* distress,
would fain throw the whole guilt on the ancient Mariner:
in sign whereof they hang the dead sea-bird round his neck*
HE RE passeda weary time* Each
throat The ancient
Was parched, and glazed each eye* Mariner be**
A weary time ! a weary time ! holdeth a
How glazed each weary eye, sign in the
When looking westward, I beheld element afar
A something in the sky* off*
At first it seemed a little speck,
And then it seemed a mist;
It moved and moved, and took at last
A certain shape, I wist*
A speck, a mist, a shape, I wist I
And still it neared and neared :
As if it dodged a water^sprite,
It plunged and tacked and veered*
At its nearer ap^ With throats unslaked, with black lips baked,
proach, it seem^ We could nor laugh nor wail ;
eth him to be a Through utter drought all dumb we stood !
ship ; and at a I bit my arm, I sucked the blood,
dear ransom he And cried, A sail! a sail !
freeth his speech
from the bonds With throats unslaked, with black lips baked,
of thirst* Agape they heard me call :
Gramercy ! they for joy did grin,
A flash of joy ; And all at once their breath drew in,
As they were drinking alL
And horror foV See ! see ! (I cried) she tacks no more !
lows* For can it Hither to work us weal;
be a ship that Without a breeze, without a tide,
comes onward She steadies with upright keel !
or tide ? The western wave was all a^flame*
The day was well nigh done !
Almost upon the western wave
— =- — *
Rested the broad bright Sun ;
When that strange shape drove suddenly
Betwixt us and the Sun*
And straight the Sun was flecked with bars ,
(Heaven's Mother send us grace !)
As if through a dungeon/grate he peered
With broad and burning face*
Alas ! (thought I ; and my heart beat loud)
How fast she nears and nears !
Are those her sails that glance in the Sun,
Like restless gossameres ?
Are those her ribs through which the Sun
Did peer, as through a grate ?
And is that Woman all her crew ?
Is that a Death ? and are there two ?
Is Death that woman's mate ?
Her lips were red, her looks were free,
Her locks were yellow as gold:
Her skin was as white as leprosy,
The Nightmare Life/in/Death was she,
Who thicks man's blood with cold*
him but the
skeleton of a
And its ribs are seen as
bars on the face of the
The Spectre/ Woman
and her Death /mate,
and no other on board
The naked hulk alongside came,
And the twain were casting dice;
Death & Life/
in/ Death have
diced for the
ship's crew, & she (thelatter) winneth the ancient Mariner*
u The game is done ! I've won ! I've won ! "
Quoth she, and whistles thrice*
No twilight The Sun's rim dips ; the stars rush out :
within the At one stride comes the dark ;
courts of the With far^heard whisper, o'er the sea,
Sun, Off shot the spectre^bark*
At the rising We listened and looked sideways up !
of the Moon, Fear at my heart, as at a cup,
My life-blood seemed to sip !
The stars were dim, and thick the night,
The steersman's face by his lamp gleamed white ;
From the sails the dew did drip *♦♦
Till clomb above the eastern bar
The horned Moon, with one bright star
Within the nether tip*
One after One after one, by the star^dogged Moon,
another, Xoo quick for groan or sigh,
Each turned his face with a ghastly pang,
And cursed me with his eye*
His ship' Four times fifty living men,
mates drop (And I heard nor sigh nor groan)
down dead* With heavy thump, a lifeless lump,
They dropped down one by one*
But Life^in^ The souls did from their bodies fly, ♦ **
Death begins They fled to bliss or woe!
her work on And every soul, it passed me by,
the ancient Like the whizz of my cross-bow !
•«' - ~
FEAR thee, ancient Mariner!
I fear thy skinny hand !
And thou art long, and lank, and
As is the ribbed sea-sand* v
I fear thee and thy glittering eye,
And thy skinny hand, so brown/'
Fear not, fear not, thou Wedding.Guest !
This body dropt not down.
Alone, alone, all, all alone,
Alone on a wide wide sea !
And never a saint took pity on
My soul in agony.
The many men, so beautiful !
And they all dead did lie :
And a thousand thousand slimy things
Lived on; and so did I.
I looked upon the rotting sea,
And drew my eyes away;
I looked upon the rotting deck,
And there the dead men lay.
V For the last two lines of this stanza, I am in.
debted to Mr. Wordsworth. It was on a delight*
ful walk from Nether Stoweyto Dulverton, with
him & his sister, in the autumn of J797, that this
poem was planned, and in part composed. (Note
of S. T. C», first printed in Sibylline Leaves*)
feareth that a
Spirit is talk,
ing to him ;
But the ancient
eth him of his
bodily life, and
relate his hor.
of the calm.
and so many
I looked to heaven, and tried to pray;
But or ever a prayer had gusht,
A wicked whisper came, and made
My heart as dry as dust*
I closed my lids, and kept them close,
And the balls like pulses beat;
For the sky and the sea, and the sea and the sky
Lay like a load on my weary eye,
And the dead were at my feet*
But the curse The cold sweat melted from their limbs,
liveth for him Nor rot nor reek did they :
in the eye of The look with which they looked on me
thedeadmen* Had never passed away*
An orphan's curse would drag to hell
A spirit from on high ;
But oh ! more horrible than that
Is a curse in a dead man's eye !
Seven days, seven nights, I saw that curse,
And yet I could not die*
X L ? nC Y The moving Moon went up the sky,
ness& fixed/ A < < & «*« ju:a—
WAnd no where did abide :
eth towards the journeying Moon, & the stars that still sojourn,
yet still move onward ; and every where the blue sky belongs to
them, & is their appointed rest, & their native country and their
own natural homes, which they enter unannounced, as lords that
are certainly expected & yet there is a silent joy at their arrival*
Softly she was going up,
And a star or two beside*
Her beams bemocked the sultry main,
Like April hoar-frost spread;
But where the ship's huge shadow lay,
The charmed water burnt alway
A still and awful red*
Beyond the shadow of the ship,
I watched the water^snakes :
They moved in tracks of shining white,
And when they reared, the elfish light
Fell off in hoary flakes*
Within the shadow of the ship
I watched their rich attire :
Blue, glossy green, and velvet black,
They coiled and swam ; and every track
Was a flash of golden fire*
O happy living things ! no tongue
Their beauty might declare :
A spring of love gushed from my heart,
And I blessed them unaware:
Sure my kind saint took pity on me,
And I blessed them unaware*
The selfsame moment I could pray;
And from my neck so free
The Albatross fell off, and sank
Like lead into the sea*
By the light
of the Moon
tures of the
them in his
The spell bex
gins to break*
-« ■ -L---«!
By grace of
in the sky &
H sleep ! it is a gentle thing*
Beloved from pole to pole !
To Mary Queen the praise be
She sent the gentle sleep from
That slid into my soul*
The silly buckets on the deck,
That had so long remained,
I dreamt that they were filled with dew ;
And when I awoke, it rained*
My lips were wet, my throat was cold,
My garments all were dank;
Sure I had drunken in my dreams,
And still my body drank*
I moved, and could not feel my limbs :
I was so light*** almost
I thought that I had died in sleep,
And was a blessed ghost*
And soon I heard a roaring wind :
It did not come an ear;
But with its sound it shook the sails,
That were so thin and sere*
The upper air burst into life !
And a hundred fire^flags sheen,
To and fro they were hurried about !
And to and fro, and in and out,
The wan stars danced between.
And the coming wind did roar more loud,
And the sails did sigh like sedge;
And the rain poured down from one black cloud;
The Moon was at its edge*
The thick black cloud was cleft, and still
The Moon was at its side :
Like waters shot from some high crag,
The lightning fell with never a jag,
A river steep and wide*
The loud wind never reached the ship,
Yet now the ship moved on !
Beneath the lightning and the Moon
The dead men gave a groan*
They groaned, they stirred, they all uprose,
Nor spake, nor moved their eyes;
It had been strange, even in a dream,
To have seen those dead men rise*
The helmsman steered, the ship moved on;
Yet never a breeze up blew;
The mariners all 'gan work the ropes,
where they were wont to do ;
of the ship's
crew are iiv
spired, & the
They raised their limbs like lifeless tools ♦.♦
We were a ghastly crew*
The body of my brother's son
Stood by me, knee to knee :
The body and I pulled at one rope
But he said nought to me*
But not by " I fear thee* ancient Mariner ! ff
the souls of Be calm* thou Wedding'Guest !
the men* nor 'Twas not those souls that fled in pain,
by daemons Which to their corses came again*
of earth or But a troop of spirits blest:
but by a For when it dawned*** they dropped their arms*
blessed troop And clustered round the mast;
of angelic Sweet sounds rose slowly through their mouths*
spirits, sent And from their bodies passed*
down by the
invocation of Around, around, flew each sweet sound,
the guardian Then darted to the Sun;
saint* Slowly the sounds came back again,
Now mixed, now one by one*
Sometimes a/dropping from the sky
I heard the skylark sing;
Sometimes all little birds that are,
How they seemed to fill the sea and air
With their sweet jargoning!
And now 'twas like all instruments,
Now like a lonely flute;
And now it is an angel's song,
That makes the heavens be mute*
It ceased; yet still the sails made on
A pleasant noise till noon,
A noise like of a hidden brook
In the leafy month of June,
That to the sleeping woods all night
Singeth a quiet tune*
Till noon we quietly sailed on,
Yet never a breeze did breathe :
Slowly and smoothly went the ship,
Moved onward from beneath*
Under the keel nine fathom deep,
From the land of mist and snow,
The spirit slid : and it was he
That made the ship to go*
The sails at noon left off their tune,
And the ship stood still also*
The Sun, right up above the mast,
Had fixed her to the ocean :
But in a minute she 'gan stir,
With a short uneasy motion ♦..
Backwards and forwards half her length
With a short uneasy motion*
carries on the
ship as far as
the Line, in
The Polar Spirit's
the invisible iiv
habitants of the
element, take part
in his wrong; and
two of them re-<
late, one to the
other, that pen^
for the ancient
been accorded to
the Polar Spirit,
Then like a pawing horse let go,
She made a sudden bound :
It flung the blood into my head,
And I fell down in a swound*
How long in that same fit I lay,
I have not to declare;
But ere my living life returned,
I heard and in my soul discerned
Two voices in the air*
44 Is it he ?" quoth one, " Is this the man ?
By him who died on cross,
Wrth his cruel bow he laid full low
The harmless Albatross*
The spirit who bideth by himself
In the land of mist and snow,
He loved the bird that loved the man
Who shot him with his bow/'
The other was a softer voice,
As soft as honey^dew:
Quoth he, 44 The man hath penance done,
And penance more will do/'
— --•■ -
1 UT tell me, tell me! speak again,
Thy soft response renewing ♦**
What makes that ship drive on so
"What is the ocean doing ?
11 Still as a slave before his lord,
The ocean hath no blast;
His great bright eye most silently
Up to the Moon is cast***
If he may know which way to go ;
For she guides him smooth or grim*
See* brother, see! how graciously
She looketh down on him*"
"But why drives on that ship so fast,
Without or wave or wind ?"
"The air is cut away before,
And closes from behind*
Fly, brother, fly ! more high, more high !
Or we shall be belated :
hath been cast
into a trance;
for the angelic
the vessel to
ward faster than
motion is re^
wakes, & his
For slow and slow that ship will go,
"When the Mariner's trance is abated/'
I woke, and we were sailing on
As in a gentle weather:
'Twas night, calm night, the moon was high,
The dead men stood together*
All stood together on the deck,
For a charnelvdungeon fitter:
All fixed on me their stony eyes,
That in the Moon did glitter*
The pang, the curse, with which they died,
Had never passed away:
I could not draw my eyes from theirs,
Nor turn them up to pray*
The curse is And now this spell was snapt : once more
finally ex<> I viewed the ocean green,
piated . And looked far forth, yet little saw
Of what had else been seen *♦♦
Like one, that on a lonesome road
Doth walk in fear and dread,
And having once turned round walks on,
And turns no more his head;
Because he knows, a frightful fiend
Doth close behind him tread*
But soon there breathed a wind on me,
Nor sound nor motion made:
Its path was not upon the sea,
In ripple or in shade*
It raised my hair, it fanned my cheek
Like a meadow^ gale of springs
It mingled strangely with my fears,
Yet it felt like a welcoming*
Swiftly, swiftly flew the ship,
Yet she sailed softly too :
Sweetly, sweetly blew the breeze ♦♦♦
On me alone it blew*
Qh ! dream of joy ! is this indeed
The lighthouse top I see ?
Is this the hill ? is this the kirk ?
Is this mine own countree ?
We drifted o'er the harbour/bar,
And I with sobs did pray ♦♦♦
O let me be awake, my God !
Or let me sleep alway*
The harbour/bay was clear as glass,
So smoothly it was strewn !
And on the bay the moonlight lay,
And the shadow of the Moon*
And the an^
The rock shone bright, the kirk no less,
That stands above the rock :
The moonlight steeped in silentness
The steady weathercock*
The angelic And the bay was white with silent light
spirits leave Till rising from the same,
the dead Full many shapes, that shadows were,
bodies, In crimson colours came*
And appear A little distance from the prow
in their own Those crimson shadows were :
formsof light, I turned my eyes upon the deck***
Oh, Christ ! what saw I there I
Each corse lay flat, lifeless and flat,
And, by the holy rood !
A man all light, a seraph^man,
On every corse there stood*
This seraph^band, each waved his hand :
It was a heavenly sight !
They stood as signals to the land,
Each one a lovely light;
This seraph'band, each waved his hand,
No voice did they impart***
No voice ; but oh ! the silence sank
Like music on my heart*
But soon I heard the dash of oars,
I heard the Pilot's cheer;
My head was turned perforce away,
And I saw a boat appear*
The Pilot and the Pilot's boy,
I heard them coming fast :
Dear Lord in Heaven ! it was a joy
The dead men could not blast*
I saw a third ♦♦♦ I heard his voice :
It is the Hermit good !
He singeth loud his godly hymns
That he makes in the wood*
He'll shrieve my soul, he'll wash away
The Albatross's blood*
HIS Hermit good lives in that
Which slopes down to the sea*
How loudly his sweet voice he
He loves to talk with marineres
That come from a far countree*
He kneels at morn, and noon, and eve.**
He hath a cushion plump :
It is the moss that wholly hides
The rotted old oak^stump*
of the Wood,
The skiflvboat neared : I heard them talk,
" Why, this is strange, I trow!
Where are those lights so many and fair,
That signal made but now?"
Approach' " Strange, by my faith ! H the Hermit said ♦♦♦
cth the ship " And they answered not our cheer !
with wonder* The planks looked warped ! and see those sails,
How thin they are and sere !
I never saw aught like to them,
Unless perchance it were
Brown skeletons of leaves that lag
My forest/brook along j
'When the ivytod is heavy with snow,
And the owlet whoops to the wolf below,
That eats the shcwolf 's young/'
" Dear Lord ! it hath a fiendish look ♦♦♦
(The Pilot made reply)
I am a/feared". ♦♦"Push on,push on!"
Said the Hermit cheerily*
The boat came closer to the ship,
But I nor spake nor stirred;
The boat came close beneath the ship,
And straight a sound was heard*
Under the water it rumbled on,
Still louder and more dread :
It reached the ship, it split the bay; The ship sud^
The ship went down like lead* denly sinketh*
Stunned by that loud and dreadful sound, The ancient
Wliich sky and ocean smote, Mariner is
Like one that hath been seven days drowned saved in the
My body lay afloat; . Pilot's boat*
But swift as dreams, myself I found
Within the Pilot's boat*
Upon the whirl, where sank the ship,
The boat spun round and round;
And all was still, save that the hill
Was telling of the sound*
I moved my lips***the Pilot shrieked
And fell down in a fit ;
The holy Hermit raised his eyes,
And prayed where he did sit*
I took the oars : the Pilot's boy,
Who now doth crazy go,
Laughed loud and long, and all the while
His eyes went to and fro*
u Ha! ha!" quoth he "full plain I see,
The Devil knows how to row/'
And now, all in my own countree,
I stood on the firm land !
The Hermit stepped forth from the boat,
And scarcely he could stand*
mamm — .- -_ -
The ancient " O shrieve me, shrieve me, holy man ! "
Manner The Hermit crossed his brow*
earnestly en-» " Say quick/' quoth he, " I bid thee say ♦♦♦
treateth the What manner of man art thou ? "
shrieve him ; Forthwith this frame of mine was wrenched
and the pen^ With a woful agony,
ance of life Which forced me to begin my tale;
falls on him • And then it left me free*
Andever & a- Since then, at an uncertain hour,
non through' That agony returns :
out his future And till my ghastly tale is told,
life an agony This heart within me burns.
him to travel I pass, like night, from land to land ;
from land to I have strange power of speech ;
land, That moment that his face I see,
I know the man that must hear me :
To him my tale I teach*
What loud uproar bursts from that door !
The weddingyguests are there :
But in the garden^bower the bride
And bridesmaids singing are :
And hark the little vesper bell,
Which biddeth me to prayer!
O Wedding'Guest! this soul hath been
Alone on a wide wide sea :
So lonely 'twas, that God himself
Scarce seemed there to be*
O sweeter than the marriage/feast,
Tis sweeter far to me,
To walk together to the kirk
With a goodly company!
To walk together to the kirk,
And all together pray,
While each to his great Father bends,
Old men, and babes, and loving friends,
And youths and maidens gay I
Farewell, farewell! but this I tell
To thee, thou Wedding/Guest!
He prayeth well, who loveth well
Both man and bird and beast*
He prayeth best, who loveth best
All things both great and small;
For the dear God who loveth us,
He made and loveth alL
The Mariner, whose eye is bright,
Whose beard with age is hoar,
Is gone : and now the Wedding/Guest
Turned from the bridegroom's door*
He went like one that hath been stunned,
And is of sense forlorn:
A sadder and a wiser man,
He rose the morrow morn*
And to teach,
by his own
love and rev/
erence to all
God made &
■ ■!^-j.__ i umu
A FRAGMENT OF A SEXTON'S
CS2S&- st»»^aflry5^HE grapes upon the
1 Vicar's wall
Were ripe as ripe could
And yellow leaves in
sun and wind
Were falling from the
On the hedge^elms in
I the narrow lane
Still swung the spikes of corn:
Dear Lord ! it seems but yesterday ♦♦♦
Young Edward's marriage^morn*
Up through that wood behind the church,
There leads from Edward's door
A mossy track, all over boughed,
For hair a mile or more*
And from their house/door by that track
The bride and bridegroom went;
Sweet Mary, though she was not gay,
Seemed cheerful and content*
But when they to the churchward came,
I've heard poor Mary say, A Frag-'
As soon as she stepped into the sun, ment of a
Her heart it died away* ' Sexton's
And when the Vicar joined their hands,
Her limbs did creep and freeze;
But when they prayed, she thought she saw
Her mother on her knees*
And o'er the church^path they returned ♦♦♦
I saw poor Mary's back,
Just as she stepped beneath the boughs
Into the mossy track*
Her feet upon the mossy track
The married maiden set:
That moment ♦♦♦ I have heard her say ♦♦♦
She wished she could forget*
The shade o'er^flushed her limbs with heat**
Then came a chill like death :
And when the merry bells rang out,
They seemed to stop her breath*
Beneath the foulest mother's curse
No child could ever thrive :
A mother is a mother still,
The holiest thing alive*
So five months passed : the mother still
A Frag' Would never heal the strife ;
ment of a But E d ward was a loving man,
Sexton's And Mary a fond wife*
44 My sister may not visit us,
My mother says her nay:
Edward ! you are all to me,
1 wish for your sake I could be
More lifesome and more gay*
"I'm dull and sad I indeed, indeed
I know I have no reason !
Perhaps I am not well in health,
And 'tis a gloomy season/'
'Twas a drizzly time ♦♦♦no ice, no snow!
And on the few fine days
She stirred not out, lest she might meet
Her mother in the ways*
But Ellen, spite of miry ways
And weather dark and dreary,
Trudged every day to Edward's house,
And made them all more cheery*
Oh ! Ellen was a faithful friend,
More dear than any sister!
As cheerful too as singing lark;
And she ne'er left them till 'twas dark,
And then they always missed her*
And now Ash^ Wednesday came ♦♦♦that day A Frag'
But few to church repair : ment of a
^or on that day you know we read Sexton's
The Commination prayer* Tale
Our late old Vicar, a kind man,
Once, Sir, he said to me,
He wished that service was clean out
Of our good Liturgy*
The mother walked into the church,
To Ellen's seat she went:
Though Ellen always kept her church
All churclvdays during Lent*
And gentle Ellen welcomed her
With courteous looks and mild:
Thought she, "What if her heart should melt*
And all be reconciled!"
The day was scarcely like a day,
The clouds were black outright:
And many a night, with half a moon,
I've seen the church more light*
The wind was wild ; against the glass
The rain did beat and bicker;
The church/tower swinging over head,
You scarce could hear the Vicar !
A Frag' And then and there the mother knelt,
ment of a And audibly she cried:
Sexton's " Oh ! may a clinging curse consume
Tale This woman by my side !
"O hear me, hear me, Lord in Heaven,
Although you take my life,
O curse this woman, at whose house
Young Edward woo'd his wife*
" By night and day, in bed and bower,
let her cursed be!!!"
So having prayed, steady and slow,
She rose up from her knee !
And left the church, nor e'er again
The churclvdoor entered she*
1 saw poor Ellen kneeling still,
So pale! I guessed not why:
When she stood up, there plainly was
A trouble in her eye*
And when the prayers were done, we all
Came round and asked her why:
Giddy she seemed, and sure, there was
A trouble in her eye*
But ere she from the church^door stepped
She smiled and told us why :
44 It was a wicked woman's curse,"
Quoth she, "arid what care I ?"
She smiled, and smiled, and passed it off A Frag'
Ere from the door she stept; ment of a
But all agree it would have been Sexton's
Much better had she wept* Tale
And if her heart was not at ease,
This was her constant cry:
44 It was a wicked woman's curse ;
God's good, and what care I ? n
There was a hurry in her looks,
Her struggles she redoubled:
44 It was a wicked woman's curse,
And why should I be troubled?"
These tears will come*,* I dandled her
W"hen 'twas the merest fairy ♦♦♦
Good creature ! and she hid it all :
She told it not to Mary*
But Mary heard the tale : her arms
Round Ellen's neck she threw;
44 O Ellen, Ellen, she cursed me,
And now she hath cursed you I"
I saw young Edward by himself
Stalk fast adown the lee,
He snatched a stick from every fence,
A twig from every tree*
A Frag-' He snapped them still with hand or knee,
ment of a And then away they flew !
Sexton's As if with his uneasy limbs
Tale He knew not what to do !
You see, good sir ! that single hill ?
His farm lies underneath :
He heard it there, he heard it all,
And only gnashed his teeth*
Now Ellen was a darling love
In all his joys and cares :
And Ellen's name and Mary's name
Fast-Blinked they both together came,
"Whene'er he said his prayers*
And in the moment of his prayers
He loved them both alike :
Yea, both sweet names with one sweet joy
Upon his heart did strike !
He reach'd his home, and by his looks
They saw his inward strife:
And they clung round him with their arms,
Both Ellen and his wife*
And Mary could not check her tears,
So on his breast she bowed;
Then frenzy melted into grief,
And Edward wept aloud*
Dear Ellen did not weep at all,
But closelfer did she cling,
And turned her face and looked as if
She saw some frightful thing*
5 O see a man tread over graves
I hold it no good mark;
'Tis wicked in the sun and moon,
And bad luck in the dark !
You see that grave ? The Lord he
The Lord, he takes away:
O Sir ! the child of my old age
Lies there as cold as clay*
Except that grave, you scarce see one
That was not dug by me ;
I'd rather dance upon 'em all
Than tread upon these three !
44 Aye, Sexton ! 'tis a touching tale/'
You, Sir ! are but a lad ;
This month I'm in my seventieth year,
And still it makes me sad*
And Mary's sister told it me,
For three good hours and more;
Though I had heard it, in the main,
From Edward's self, before*
f 6 5
ment of a
A Frag' Well I it passed off! the gentle Ellen
mentofa Did well nigh dote on Mary;
Sexton's And she went oftener than before,
Tale And Mary loved her more and more :
She managed all the dairy*
To market she on market-days,
To church on Sundays came;
All seemed the same: all seemed so, Sir !
But all was not the same !
Had Ellen lost her mirth ? Oh ! no !
But she was seldom cheerful;
And Edward looked as if he thought
That Ellen's mirth was fearful*
'When by herself, she to herself
Must sing some merry rhyme;
She could not now be glad for hours,
Yet silent all the time*
And when she soothed her friend, through all
Her soothing words 'twas plain
She had a sore grief of her own,
A haunting in her brain*
And oft she said, Pm not grown thin !
And then her wrist she spanned ;
And once when Mary was downcast,
She took her by the hand,
And gazed upon her, and at first A Frag'
She gently pressed her hand ; ment of a
Then harder, till her grasp at length Tale
Did gripe like a convulsion !
"Alas ! ' said she, * * we ne'er can be
Made happy by compulsion ! ?
And once her both arms suddenly
Round Mary's neck she flung,
And her heart panted, and she felt
The words upon her tongue*
She felt them coming, but no power
Had she the words to smother;
And with a kind of shriek she cried,
"Oh Christ! you're like your mother!"
So gentle Ellen now no more
Could make this sad house cheery;
And Mary's melancholy ways
Drove Edward wild and weary.
Lingering he raised his latch at eve,
Though tired in heart and limb t
He loved no other place, and yet
Home was no home to him*
One evening he took up a book,
And nothing in it read ;
A Frag' Then flung it down, and groaning cried,
ment of a u O ! Heaven I that I were dead/'
Tale Mary looked up into his face,
And nothing to him said;
She tried to smile, and on his arm
Mournfully leaned her head*
And he burst into tears, and fell
Upon his knees in prayer:
" Her heart is broke ! O God ! my grief,
It is too great to bear ! "
'Twas such a foggy time as makes
Old sextons, Sir! like me,
Rest on their spades to cough ; the spring
Was late uncommonly*
And then the hot days, all at once,
They came, we knew not how :
You looked about for shade, when scarce
A leaf was on a bough*
It happened then ('twas in the bower,
A furlong up the wood t
Perhaps you know the place , and yet
I scarce know how you should,)
No path leads thither, 'tis not nigh
To any pasture/plot;
But clustered near the chattering brook, A Frag.'
Lone hollies marked the spot* ment of a
Those hollies of themselves a shape Tale
As of an arbour took,
A close, round arbour; and it stands
Not three strides from a brook*
Within this arbour, which was still
With scarlet berries hung,
Were these three friends, one Sunday morn,
Just as the first bell rung*
'Tis sweet to hear a brook/tis sweet
To hear the SabbatlvbelJ,
Tis sweet to hear them both at once,
Deep in a woody dell*
His limbs along the moss, his head
Upon a mossy heap,
With shut'up senses, Edward lay:
That brook e'en on a working day
Might chatter one to sleep*
And he had passed a restless night,
And was not well in health ;
The women sat down by his side,
And talked as 'twere by stealth*
"The Sun peeps through the close thick leaves,
A Frag' See, dearest Ellen ! see !
merit of a 'Tis in the leaves, a little sun,
Sexton's No bigger than your ee ;
44 A tiny sun, and it has got
A perfect glory too ;
Ten thousand threads and hairs of light,
Make up a glory gay and bright
Round that small orb, so blue/'
And then they argued of those rays,
What colour they might be;
Says this, "They're mostly green"; says that,
44 They're amberlike to me/'
So they sat chatting, while bad thoughts
Were troubling Edward's rest;
But soon they heard his hard quick pants,
And the thumping in his breast*
"A mother too !" these selfsame words
Did Edward mutter plain;
His face was drawn back on itself,
With horror and huge pain*
Both groan'd at once, for both knew well
What thoughts were in his mind;
When he waked up, and stared like one
That hath been just struck blind*
He sat upright ; and ere the dream A Frag*
Had had time to depart, ment of a
44 O God, forgive me ! w (he exclaimed) Sexton's
44 1 have torn out her heart/' Tale
Then Ellen shrieked, and forthwith burst
Into ungentle laughter;
And Mary shivered, where she sat,
And never she smiled after*
Carmen reliquuminfuturum tempus relegatum*
To-morrow! and To-morrow! and To-morrow!
(Note ofS.T.C, 1815.)
«LL thoughts, all pas'
I sions, all delights,
53 Whatever stirs this
All are but ministers of
And feed his sacred
Oft in my waking
dreams do I
er again that happy hour,
midway on the mount I lay,
the ruined tower*
The moonshine, stealingVer the scene,
Had blended with the lights of eve;
And she was there, my hope, my joy,
My own dear Genevieve !
She!leant against the armed man,
\The statue of the armed knight;
JShe stood and listened to my lay,
Amid the lingering light*
vFew sorrows hath she of her own*
My hope ! my joy ! my Genevieve !
She loves me best, whene'er I sing Love
The songs that make her grieve*
I played a soft and doleful air,
I sang an old and moving story,
An old rude song, that suited well
That ruin wild and hoary*
She listened with a flitting blush,
With downcast eyes and modest grace;
For well she knew, I could not choose
But gaze upon her face*
I told her of the Knight that wore
Upon his shield a burning brand,*
And that for ten long years he wooed
The Lady of the Land*
I told her how he pined : and ah !
The deep, the low, the pleading tone
With which I sang another's love,
Interpreted my own*
She listened with a flitting blush,
With downcast eyes, and modest grace;
And she forgave me, that I gazed
Too fondly on her face!
But when I told the cruel scorn
That crazed that bold and lovely Knight,
Love And that he crossed the mountainxwoods,
Nor rested day nor night;
That sometimes from the savage den,
And sometimes from the darksome shade,
And sometimes starting up at once
In green and sunny glade,
There came and looked him in the face
An angel beautiful and bright;
And that he knew it was a Fiend,
This miserable Knight!
And that unknowing what he did,
He leaped amid a murderous band,
And saved from outrage worse than death
The Lady of the Land!
And how she wept, and clasped his knees ;
And how she tended him in vain,
And ever strove to expiate
The scorn that crazed his brain;
And that she nursed him in a cave ;
And how his madness went away,
'When on the yellow forest'leaves
A dying man he lay ;
His dying words ♦♦♦but when I reached
That tenderest strain of all the ditty,
My faultering voice and pausing harp Love
Disturbed her soul with pity!
All impulses of soul and sense
Had thrilled my guileless Genevieve;
The music and the doleful tale,
The rich and balmy eve ;
And hopes, and fears that kindle hope,
An undistinguishable throng,
And gentle wishes long subdued,
Subdued and cherished long!
She wept with pity and delight,
She blushed with love, and virgin^shame ;
And like the murmur of a dream,
I heard her breathe my name*
Her bosom heaved ♦♦♦ she stepped aside,
As conscious of my look she stepped***
Then suddenly* with timorous eye
She fled to me and wept*
She half enclosed me with her arms,
She pressed me with a meek embrace ;
And bending back her head, looked up,
And gazed upon my face*
'Twas partly love, and partly fear,
And partly 'twas a bashful art,
Love That I might rather feel,than see,
The swelling of her heart*
I calmed her fears, and she was calm,
And told her love with virgin pride ;
And so I won my Genevieve,
My bright and beauteous Bride*
- ■ — -
THE BALLADOFTHE DARKLADIE,
jENEATH yon birch
/ith silver bark,
And boughs so pendulous
The brook falls scattered
down the rock:
And all is mossy there !
And there upon the moss
I she sits,
I The Dark Ladie in silent
The heavy tear is in her eye,
And drops and swells again*
' Three times she sends her little page
Up the castled mountain's breast,
If he might find the Knight that wears
The Griffin for his crest*
The sun was sloping down the sky,
And she had lingered there all day,
Counting moments, dreaming fears ♦.♦
Oh wherefore can he stay ?
The Dark She hears a rustling o'er the brook,
Ladie She sees far off a swinging bough !
"'Tis He! 'Tis my betrothed Knight!
Lord Falkland, it is Thou ! "
She springs, she clasps him round the neck,
She sobs a thousand hopes and fears,
Her kisses glowing on his cheeks
She quenches with her tears*
44 My friends with rude ungentle words
They scoff and bid me fly to thee !
O give me shelter in thy breast !
shield and shelter me!
" My Henry, I have given thee much,
1 gave what I can ne'er recall,
I gave my heart, I gave my peace,
O Heaven! I gave thee all/'
The Knight made answer to the Maid,
'While to his heart he held her hand,
44 Nine castles hath my noble sire,
None statelier in the land*
"The fairest one shall be my love's,
The fairest castle of the nine!
Wait only till the stars peep out,
The fairest shall be thine :
H Wait only till the hand of eve The Dark
Hath wholly closed yon western bars, Ladie
And through the dark we two will steal
Beneath the twinkling stars ! ' *
"The dark ? the dark ? No ! not the dark ?
The twinkling stars ? How, Henry? How ?
O God ! 'twas in the eye of noon
He pledged his sacred vow!
u And in the eye of noon my love
Shall lead me from my mother's door,
Sweet boys and girls all clothed in white
Strewing flowers before:
" But first the nodding minstrels go
Wrth music meet for lordly bowers,
The children next in snow-white vests,
Strewing buds and flowers !
"And then my love and I shall pace,
My jet black hair in pearly braids,
Between our comely bachelors
And blushing bridal maids/'
ASK'D my fair one happy day,
"What I should call her in my lay;
By what sweet name from Rome
Sappho, Lesbia, or Doris,
Arethusa or Lucrece*
"Ah I" replied my gentle fair,
44 Beloved, what are names but air?
Choose thou whatever suits the line;
Call me Sappho, call me Chloris,
Call me Lalage or Doris,
Only, only call me Thine/'
YOUTH AND AGE.
Wbere Hope clung
feeding, like a bee ♦ ♦ •
Both were mine ! Life
With Nature, Hope,
Wlien I was young !
Wlien I was young?**.
Ah ! for the change 'twixt Now and Then !
This breathing house not built with hands,
This body that does me grievous wrong,
O'er aery cliffs and glittering sands,
How lightly Then it flashed along :
Like those trim skiffs, unknown of yore,
On winding lakes and rivers wide,
That ask no aid of sail or oar,
That fear no spite of wind or tide !
Nought cared this body for wind or weather
When Youth and I lived in't together.
t Flowers are lovely; Love is flower^like;
i Friendship is a sheltering tree;
O ! the joys, that came down shower4ike,
gy^y" 1 "
Youth and Of Friendship, Love, and Liberty,
Age Ere I was old!
Ere I was old? Ah woful Ere,
Which tells me, Youth's no longer here !
Youth ! for years so many and sweet,
'Tis known, that Thou and I were one,
I'll think it but a fond conceit ♦♦♦
It cannot be that Thou art gone !
Thy vesperz-bell hath not yet toll'd : ♦♦♦
And thou wert aye a masker bold !
What strange disguise hast now put on,
To Make Believe, that thou art gone ?
1 see these locks in silvery slips,
This drooping gait, this altered size:
But Springtide blossoms on thy lips,
And tears take sunshine from thine eyes !
Life is but thought: so think I will
That Youth and I are house^mates still.
Dewdrops are the gems of morning,
But the tears of mournful eve !
Where no hope is, life's a warning
That only serves to make us grieve,
When we are old :
That only serves to make us grieve
With oft and tedious taking/leave,
Like some poor nigh^related guest,
That may not rudely be dismist;
Yet hath outstay'd his welcome while,
And tells the jest without the smile*
.... .--i 1 . ,_1-
E S, yes ! that boon, life's
He had, or fancied that
Say/twas but in his own
The fancy made him glad !
Crown of his cup, and
garnish of his dish!
The boon, prefigured in
j his earliest wish,
The fair fulfilment of his poesy,
WTien his young heart first yearn' d for sympathy !
But e'en the meteor offspring of the brain
Faith asks her daily bread,
And Fancy must be fed !
Now so it chanced ♦♦♦ from wet or dry,
It boots not how*** I know not why ♦ .♦
She missed her wonted food; and quickly
Poor Fancy stagger' d and grew sickly*
Then came a restless state, 'twixt yea and nay,
His faith was fix'd, his heart all ebb and flow;
Or like a bark, in some hal&shelter'd bay,
Above its anchor driving to and fro*
'.-Jl.i W JW ^W
The Inv That boon, which but to have possessed
provisatore In a Belief, gave life a zest ♦♦♦
Uncertain both what it Had been,
And if by error lost, or luck ;
And what it Was ; ♦♦♦ an evergreen
Which some insidious blight had struck,
Or annual flower, which, past its blow,
No vernal spell shall e'er revive ;
Uncertain, and afraid to know,
Doubts toss'd him to and fro :
Hope keeping Love, Love Hope alive,
Like babes bewildered in a snow,
That cling and huddle from the cold
In hollow tree or ruin'd fold*
Those sparkling colours, once his boast,
Fading, one by one away,
Thin and hueless as a ghost,
Poor Fancy on her sick bed lay;
111 at distance, worse when near,
Telling her dreams to jealous Fear!
WTiere was it then, the sociable sprite
That crown' d the Poet's cup & deck'd his dish I
Poor shadow cast from an unsteady wish,
Itself a substance by no other right
But that it intercepted Reason's light;
It dimm'd his eye, it darkened on his brow,
A peevish mood, a tedious time, I trow 1
Thank Heaven ! 'tis not so now.
t . vr
O bliss of blissful hours ! The Im/
The boon of Heaven's decreeing, provisatore
While yet in Eden's bowers
Dwelt the first husband and his sinless mate !
The one sweet plant, which, piteous Heaven
They bore with them thro' Eden's closing gate !
Of life's gay summer tide the sovran rose!
Late autumn's amaranth, that more fragrant
When passion's flowers all fall or fade;
If this were ever his, in outward being,
Or but his own true love's projected shade,
Now that at length by certain proof he knows,
That whether real or a magic show,
Whate'er it Was, it Is no longer so ;
Though heart be lonesome, hope laid low,
Yet, Lady! deem him not unblest:
The certainty that struck Hope dead,
Hath left Contentment in her stead ;
And that is next to Best !
Work WORK WITHOUT HOPE. LINES
without COMPOSED 21st FEBRUARY, 1827.
J3LL Nature seems at work* Slugs
leave their lair ♦♦♦
The bees are stirring ♦♦♦birds are
And Winter slumbering in the
Wears on his smiling face a dream of Spring!
And I the while, the sole unbusy thing,
Nor honey make, nor pair, nor build, nor sing*
Yet well I ken the banks where amaranths blow,
Have traced the fount whence streams of nectar
Bloom, O ye amaranths ! bloom for whom ye may?
For me ye bloom not ! Glide, rich streams, away!
With lips unbrightened, wreathless brow, I stroll •
And would you learn the spells that drowse my
Work without Hope draws nectar in a sieve,
And Hope without an object cannot live*
(THE GARDEN OF BOCCACCIO.
F late, in one of those
most weary hours,
WTien life seems emp'
tied of all genial powers,
A dreary mood, which
he who ne'er has known
May bless his happy
lot, I sate alone;
And, from the numbing
spell to win relief,
Call'd on the Past for thought of glee or grief*
In vain ! bereft alike of grief and glee,
I sate and cowV d o'er my own vacancy !
And as I watch'd the dull continuous ache,
"Which, all else slumbering, seem'd alone to wake ;
Friend ! long wont to notice yet conceal,
And soothe by silence what words cannot heal,
1 but half saw that quiet hand of thine
Place on my desk this exquisite design*
Boccaccio's Garden and its faery,
The love, the joyaunce, and the gallantry !
An Idyll, with Boccaccio's spirit warm,
Framed in the silent poesy of form*
Like flocks adown a newly^bathed steep
Emerging from a mist: or like a stream
The Gar/ Of music soft that not dispels the sleep,
den of But casts in happier moulds the slumberer's dream,
Boccaccio Gazed by an idle eye with silent might
The picture stole upon my inward sight*
A tremulous warmth crept gradual o er my chest.
As though an infant's finger touched my breast*
And one by one (I know not whence) were brought
All spirits of power that most had stirr'd my
In selfless boyhood, on a new world tost
Of wonderland in its own fancies lost;
Or charm' d my youth, that, kindled from above,
Loved ere it loved, and sought a form for love;
Or lent a lustre to the earnest scan
Of manhood, musing what and whence is man !
'Wild strain of Scalds, that in the sea^worn caves
Rehearsed their war^spell to the winds and waves;
Or fateful hymn of those prophetic maids,
That called on Hertha in deep forest glades;
Or minstrel lay, that cheer' d the baron's feast;
Or rhyme of city pomp, of monk and priest,
Judge, mayor, and many a guild in long array,
To high^church pacing on the great saint's day*
And many a verse which to myself I sang,
That woke the tear yet stole away the pang,
Of hopes which in lamenting I renewed*
And last, a matron now, of sober mien,
Yet radiant still and with no earthly sheen,
Whom as a faery child my childhood woo'd
Even in my dawn of thought*** Philosophy;
Though then unconscious of herself, pardie, The Gatv
She bore no other name than Poesy; den of
And, like a gift from heaven, in lifeful glee, Boccaccio
That had but newly left a mother's knee,
Prattled and play'd with bird and flower, and
As if with elfin playfellows well known,
And life reveal' d to innocence alone*
Thanks, gentle artist ! now I can descry
Thy fair creation with a mastering eye,
And All awake! And now in fix'd gaze stand,
Now wander through the Eden of thy hand;
Praise the green arches, on the fountain clear
See fragment shadows of the crossing deer;
And with that serviceable nymph I stoop
The crystal from its restless pool to scoop*
I see no longer! I myself am there,
Sit on the ground'Sward,and the banquet share*
'Tis 1, that sweep that lute's love^echoing strings,
And gaze upon the maid who gazing sings;
Or pause and listen to the tinkling bells
From the high tower, and think that there she
With old Boccaccio's soul I stand possesst,
And breathe an air like life, that swells my chest*
The brightness of the world, O thou once free,
And always fair, rare land of courtesy !
O Florence ! with the Tuscan fields and hills
And famous Arno,fed with all their rills;
The Gar-' Thou brightest star of star^bright Italy!
den of Rich, ornate, populous, all treasures thine,
Boccaccio The golden corn, the olive, and the vine*
Fair cities, gallant mansions, castles old,
And forests, where beside his leafy hold
The sullen boar hath heard the distant horn,
And whets his tusks against the gnarled thorn;
Palladian palace with its storied halls;
Fountains, where Love lies listening to their falls;
Gardens, where flings the bridge its airy span,
And Nature makes her happy home with man ;
Where many a gorgeous flower is duly fed
With its own rill, on its own spangled bed,
And wreathes the marble urn, or leans its head,
A mimic mourner, that with veil withdrawn
Weeps liquid gems, the presents of the dawn; ♦♦♦
Thine all delights, and every muse is thine ;
And more than all, the embrace and intertwine
Of all with all in gay and twinkling dance !
Mid gods of Greece and warriors of romance,
See! Boccace sits, unfolding on his knees
The newfound roll of old Maeonides;
But from his mantle's fold, and near the heart,
Peers Ovid's Holy Book of Love's sweet smart!
O alkenjoying and all'blending sage,
Long be it mine to con thy mazy page,
Where, half concealed, the eye of fancy views
Fauns, nymphs, and winged saints, all gracious
to thy muse!
Still in thy garden let me watch their pranks, The
And see in Dian's vest between the ranks Knight's
Of the trim vines, some maid that half believes Tomb
The Vestal fires, of which her lover grieves,
With that sly satyr peeping through the leaves !
THE KNIGHT'S TOMB.
HERE is the grave of Sir Arthur
| Where may the grave of that
\ good man be?
By the side of a spring, on the
breast of Helvellyn,
Jnder the twigs of a young birch tree!
The oak that in summer was sweet to hear,
And rustled its leaves in the fall of the year,
And whistled and roar'd in the winter alone,
Is gone, ♦♦♦and the birch in its stead is grown, .♦♦
The Knight's bones are dust,
And his good sword rust; ♦♦♦
His soul is with the saints, I trust*
'ALICE DU CLOS, OR THE FORKED
TONGUE. A BALLAD.
u One word with two meanings is the traitor's
shield & shaft : and a slit tongue be his blazon 1 '
H E Sun is not yet risen,
But the dawn lies red on
Lord Julian has stolen
from the hunters away,
Is seeking, Lady, for
Put on your dress of
Y our buskins and your
Lord Julian is a hasty man,
Long waiting brook d he never.
I dare not doubt him, that he means
To wed you on a day,
Your lord and master for to be,
And you his lady gay.
Lady ! throw your book aside I
1 would not that my Lord should chide/
Thus spake Sir Hugh the vassal knight
To Alice, child of old Du Clos, Alice Du
As spotless fair, as airy light Cl<
As that mooivshiny doe,
The gold star on its brow, her sire's ancestral crest!
For ere the lark had left his nest,
She in the garden bower below
Sate loosely wrapt in maiden white,
Her face half drooping from the sight,
A snowdrop on a tuft of snow!
O close your eyes, and strive to see
The studious maid, with book on knee, ♦♦♦
Ah! earliest/open'd flower;
While yet with keen unblunted light
The morning star shone opposite
The lattice of her bower***
Alone of all the starry host,
As if in prideful scorn
Of flight and fear he stay'd behind,
To brave th' advancing morn*
O ! Alice could read passing well,
And she was conning then
Dan Ovid's mazy tale of loves,
And gods, and beasts, and men*
The vassal's speech, his taunting vein,
It thrill' d like venom thro' her brain ;
Yet never from the book
She rais'd her head, nor did she deign
The knight a single look*
Alice Du '* Off, traitor friend! how dar'st thou fix
Clos Thy wanton gaze on me ?
And why, against my earnest suit,
Does Julian send by thee ?
" Go, tell thy Lord, that slow is sure :
Fair speed nis shafts to-day!
I follow here a stronger lure,
And chase a gentler prey/'
She said : and with a baleful smile
The vassal knight reel'd off,
Like a huge billow from a bark
Toil'd in the deep sea^trough,
That shouldering sideways in mid plunge,
Is traversed by a flash,
And staggering onward, leaves the ear
"With dull and distant crash*
And Alice sate with troubled mien
A moment; for the scoff was keen,
And thro' her veins did shiver !
Then rose and donn'd her dress of green,
Her buskins and her quiver*
There stands the flowering may^thorn tree !
From thro' the veiling mist you see
The black and shadowy stem ; ♦♦♦
Smit by the sun the mist in glee
Dissolves to lightsome jewelry ♦♦♦
Each blossom hath its gem!
With teatvdrop glittering to a smile,
The gay maid on the garden^stile
Mimics the hunter's shout*
44 Hip ! Florian, hip ! To horse, to horse !
Go, bring the palfrey out*
44 My Julian's out with all his clan,
And, bonny boy, you wis,
Lord Julian is a hasty man,
Wlio comes late, comes amiss/'
Now Florian was a stripling squire,
A gallant boy of Spain,
That toss'd his head in joy and pride,
Behind his Lady fair to ride,
But blush'd to hold her train*
The huntress is in her dress of green, ♦**
And forth they go ; she with her bow,
Her buskins and her quiver I ♦♦♦
The squire *** no younger e'er was seen ♦♦♦
With restless arm and laughing een,
He makes his javelin quiver*
And had not Ellen stay'd the race,
And stopp'd to see, a moment's space,
The whole great globe of light
Give the last parting kiss^like touch
To the eastern ridge, it lack'd not much,
They had o'erta'en the knight*
Alice Du It chanced that up the covert lane,
Clos Where Julian waiting stood,
A neighbour knight prick'd on to join
The huntsmen in the wood*
And with him must Lord Julian go,
Tho' with an anger'd mind:
Betroth' d not wedded to his bride,
In vain he sought, 'twixt shame and pride,
Excuse to stay behind*
He bit his lip, he wrung his glove,
He looked around, he looked above,
But pretext none could find or frame*
Alas ! alas ! and well^a^day !
It grieves me sore to think, to say,
That names so seldom meet with Love,
Yet Love wants courage without a name !
Straight from the forest's skirt the trees
0'er'branching,made an aisle,
Where hermit old might pace and chaunt
As in a minster's pile*
From underneath its leafy screen,
And from the twilight shade,
You pass at once into a green,
A green and lightsome glade*
And there Lord Julian sate on steed;
Behind him, in a round,
Stood knight and squire, and menial train ; Alice Du
Against the leash the greyhounds strain ; Clos
The horses paw'd the ground*
When up the alley green, Sir Hugh
Spurred in upon the sward,
And mute, without a word, did he
Fall in behind his lord*
Lord Julian turned his steed half round,***
"What! doth not Alice deign
To accept your loving convoy, knight ?
Or doth she fear our woodland sleight,
And joins us on the plain ?"
With stifled tones the knight replied,
And look'd askance on either side,***
u Nay, let the hunt proceed ! ***
The Lady's message that I bear,
I guess would scantly please your ear,
And less deserves your heed*
II You sent betimes* Not yet unbarr'd
I found the middle door ; ***
Two stirrers only met my eyes,
Fair Alice, and one more*
"I came unlook'd for: and, it seem'd,
In an unwelcome hour;
And found the daughter of Du Clos
Within the latticed bower*
Alice Du " But hush ! the rest may wait* If lost,
Clos No great loss, I divine;
And idle words will better suit
A fair maid's lips than mine/'
44 God's wrath ! speak out, man/' Julian cried,
O'ermaster'd by the sudden smart; ♦♦♦
And feigning wrath, sharp, blunt, and rude,
The knight his subtle shift pursued* ♦♦♦
44 Scowl not at me ; command my skill,
To lure your hawk back, if you will,
But not a woman's heart*
4i 4 Go ! (said she) tell him, ♦♦♦ slow is sure ;
Fair speed his shafts to-day!
I follow here a stronger lure,
And chase a gentler prey/
"The game, pardie, was full in sight,
That then did, if I saw aright,
The fair dame's eyes engage;
For turning, as I took my ways,
I saw them fix'd with steadfast gaze
Full on her wanton page/'
The last word of the traitor knight
It had but entered Julian's ear, ♦♦.
From two o'erarching oaks between,
With glist'ning helnvlike cap is seen,
Borne on in giddy cheer,
A youth, that ill his steed can guide; Alice Du
Yet with reverted face doth ride, Clos
As answering to a voice,
That seems at once to laugh and chide ♦♦♦
" Not mine, dear mistress," still he cried,
"'Tis this mad filly's choice/'
With sudden bound, beyond the boy,
See ! see ! that face of hope and joy,
That regal front! those cheeks aglow!
Thou needed'st but the crescent sheen,
A quiver'd Dian to have been,
Thou lovely child of old Du Clos !
Dark as a dream Lord Julian stood,
Swift as a dream, from forth the wood,
Sprang on the plighted Maid !
"With fatal aim, and frantic force,
The shaft was hurl'd ! .♦♦ a lifeless corse,
Fair Alice from her vaulting horse,
Lies bleeding on the glade*
i l l I I I i A.
II ■ "! J ' \ *m \
^0 Edited by F* S* Ellis, and printed by me,
William Morris, at the Kelmscott Press, Upper
Mall, Hammersmith, and finished on the 5th
day of February, 1896*
Sold by William Morris at the Kelmscott Press*
■ ' . ■■ ' .tv « ^Kl^L.I ■